For The Greater Goods (sm)

Organic Turmeric: 5 Amazing Health Benefits + Uses

organic turmericLast month I was coming home from a trip on a cramped and full flight.  After holding my body in an uncomfortable position for over an hour, I wound up with lingering pain in my right shoulder.  I tried massaging it out, using muscle balms and ointments and nothing worked.  I don’t like to take prescription or over the counter drugs but after not being able to sleep due to the pain, gave in to using ibuprofen.  It helped with the pain but if I stopped taking it, the pain came back.  I was frustrated and I remembered that I’d heard that organic turmeric was as effective or more effective than NSAID pain relievers.  I had nothing to lose so gave it a shot.  Within 36 hours of taking turmeric regularly, the pain was gone.  I continued taking it for a few more days just to be sure and when I stopped, the pain didn’t come back.  Score for organic turmeric!

While I was taking organic turmeric, I decided to see what else it was good for and I found quite a bit of evidence that it has a whole lot of healing properties; here are just a few:

5 Health Benefits of Organic Turmeric

1 – Natural Antiseptic and Antibacterial

With a general increase in antibiotic resistance, scientists are studying natural compounds for their antibacterial properties.  Studies have shown that curcumin, an active component in turmeric, has antibacterial properties. 1

2 – Cancer Prevention

According to the American Cancer Society, “Curcumin can kill cancer cells in laboratory dishes and also slows the growth of the surviving cells. Curcumin has been found to reduce development of several forms of cancer in lab animals and to shrink animal tumors. “2  Curcumin has been found to be beneficial in both prevention and treatment of certain cancers: lung, prostate, liver, breast, colon, stomach and melanoma.

3 – Prevents and Slows Alzheimer’s Progression

More than 50 studies on turmeric’s effects on Alzheimers show that extracts of turmeric contain a number of components that block the formation of beta-amyloid, the substance responsible for the plaques that slowly obstruct cerebral function.

 4 – Arthritis Relief

A common treatment for arthritis sufferers are pharmaceutical COX-2 inhibitors.  The COX-2 enzyme promotes the pain, swelling and inflammation that is present in arthritis.  Turmeric contains six different COX-2 inhibitors as well as more than two dozen anti-inflammatory compounds.  Studies of curcuming for arthritis have shown positive changes in arthritis symptoms.3

5 – Anti Depressant

Researchers have found that turmeric is as effective as Prozac for treating depression.4 Considering the side effects of pharmaceutical antidepressant medications, the use of turmeric is far more beneficial for the body.

How To Use Organic Turmeric

Commonly used in curry, turmeric is a staple in Indian cuisine but it can be incorporated into many other dishes to provide color, flavor, and health benefit.

  • Use in eggless egg salad or tofu scramble for a golden yellow color reminiscent of egg yolk.
  • Bake it into a cake! Sfuff is a middle eastern turmeric cake that is easy to make, festive and delicious.  Find a recipe HERE.
  • Try drinking turmeric tea.  Just simmer 1 tsp of organic ground turmeric in 4 cups of water for about 10 minutes.  Add honey or ginger for flavor and enjoy.
  • Add a bit of organic turmeric to soups and stews – the flavor is mild enough that any richly flavored bean soup, stew, winter squash soup or cauliflower soup will benefit from the addition of turmeric.

If cooking with turmeric isn’t your thing but you still want the benefit, you can take organic turmeric in capsule form.  Just 3 capsules a day will provide you with turmeric’s protective benefits.  Now that you know the health benefits of organic turmeric and some ways to use it, how will you be adding organic turmeric to your diet? Let us know in the comments.




2. American Cancer Society – Turmeric

3. Anti-inflammatory Properties of Curcumin, a Major Constituent of Curcuma longa: A Review of Preclinical and Clinical Research

4. Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

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I'm a firm believer that you are what you eat and I want to be fresh, local, organic and healthy! I've spent a lifetime experimenting with natural foods, different diets and ways of eating, and have settled on the food philosophy that Michael Pollan expresses so well: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. I'm passionate about organic foods, natural living, cooking healthy meals, and improving my health on a daily basis.

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